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Opentrons partners with Zymo Research to automate key microbiome chemistries on the Opentrons Flex

The partnership leverages the Opentrons Flex platform’s automation and Zymo chemistries to provide improved throughput, reduced variability, and superior data quality compared to traditional methods.

IRVINE, Calif., BROOKLYN, N.Y., June 15, 2023Opentrons Labworks, Inc., a leader in lab automation and makers of accessible lab robotics and Zymo Research Corp, a life science reagent company, are collaborating to transform microbiome and metagenome analysis by fully automating comprehensive, end-to-end workflows from sample collection through library preparation on the Opentrons Flex.

Traditional methods of microbiome analysis have provided valuable insights across various applications; however, this approach frequently faces challenges in terms of time, cost, and accuracy. Additionally, these methods often demand significant labor from skilled personnel, which may hinder scalability and reproducibility. The innovative collaboration between Zymo and Opentrons, which combines the automation capabilities of the Opentrons Flex platform with Zymo chemistries, offers numerous advantages over conventional approaches, including enhanced throughput, minimized variability, and superior data quality.

The Opentrons Flex platform enables the ability to perform multiple chemistries simultaneously, significantly reducing the risk of sample loss, contamination, or variability. Furthermore, the platform executes these chemistries with remarkable precision and reproducibility, thereby increasing the accuracy and sensitivity of data. Lastly, the Opentrons Flex streamlines the research process by automating monotonous and time-consuming tasks, enabling researchers to dedicate their efforts to the analysis and interpretation of data. This revolutionary collaboration has the potential to redefine the landscape of microbiome analysis, setting new standards in efficiency and accuracy.

James Atwood, General Manager of Opentrons Robotics said, “We’re delighted to bring accessible automation for the ZymoBIOMICS range of chemistries to the Opentrons Flex platform in support of our vibrant robotics community. Automated microbiome sample prep workflows are of growing interest to our members involved in pathogen surveillance and microbiome-based therapeutic development. Our partnership with Zymo extends our commitment to providing our users with highly qualified protocols, available on demand, through our protocol library.”

“Microbiome research plays a crucial role in advancing human health, agriculture, and environmental sustainability, necessitating the integration of interdisciplinary and collaborative strategies,” said Dr. Marc Van Eden, VP of Business Development at Zymo Research. “By streamlining and standardizing microbiome analysis through the combined use of the Opentrons Flex platform and Zymo’s chemistries, this partnership can accelerate the progress and influence of microbiome research. Consequently, this innovative approach holds the potential to unlock groundbreaking discoveries and applications in various fields as we master the microbiome.”

Zymo and Opentrons have a successful history of collaboration, having automated popular Zymo chemistries, including ZymoBIOMICS, Quick-DNA, and Direct-Zol<sup>™</sup> chemistries on Opentrons’ reliable and affordable personal pipetting robot, the OT-2. These protocols have been written and verified by the Zymo automation team and are available in Opentrons’ open repository of protocols, the Protocol Library. In addition, over 20 protocols are automating Zymo kits contributed by our community.  

For more information on the collaboration between Opentrons and Zymo, visit them at ASM Microbe from June 15-June 19 in Houston, TX. Opentrons is at booth 2011 and Zymo is at booth 2225.

About Opentrons Flex:

The Opentrons Flex features easily reconfigurable, modular hardware including swappable pipettes ranging from 1 to 96 channels, plate gripper, on-deck thermocycler, heater-shaker, magnetic plate, and more. The Opentrons software ecosystem includes a robust library of more than 500 protocols, plus easy drag-and-drop cloud software to enable you to create protocols for your specific needs. The Flex’s modern API allows for near-limitless control over the robot and enables seamless integrations to build scalable workflows. 

The Opentrons Flex NGS Workstation can automate many popular NGS library prep kits, including tagmentation- and fragmentation-based chemistries, with pricing starting below $50,000; the Opentrons Flex Protein Purification Workstation can automate magnetic bead-based protein purification workflows, with pricing starting below $40,000; the Opentrons Flex Aliquoting Workstation starts below $20,000. Learn more about Opentrons Flex at

About ZymoBIOMICS:

The ZymoBIOMICS DNA Kits are microbial DNA purification kits designed for purifying DNA from a variety of sample inputs that are immediately ready for microbiome or metagenome analyses. These microbial DNA purification kits include the ZymoBIOMICS lysis system which eliminates bias associated with unequal lysis efficiencies of different organisms (e.g. Gram-negative/positive bacteria, fungus, protozoans, and algae), making it ideal for microbial community profiling. Uniform mechanical lysis of all microbes is achieved by bead beating with the innovative ultra-high density BashingBeads. These microbial DNA purification kits are equipped with our OneStep PCR Inhibitor removal technology, enabling PCR amplification from DNA derived from inhibitor-rich environmental samples. Purified DNA from these microbial DNA purification kits is ideal for all downstream applications including PCR, arrays, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and shotgun sequencing.

About Opentrons:

Opentrons Labworks, Inc., a disruptive life science company and the current market leader in entry-level lab automation, accelerates innovation in research and healthcare through its integrated lab platform, which includes business units Opentrons Robotics and Neochromosome. Opentrons has raised over $200 million in funding and achieved unicorn status based on the first- and second-generation robots, OT-One and OT-2. Opentrons Robotics provides thousands of institutions with flexible, easy-to-use lab robots, automating R&D operations and making robotics, a vast open-source library accessible to life sciences researchers worldwide. Neochromosome offers world-class genome-scale cell engineering solutions for biopharma and biotech. Trusted by institutions such as Mayo Clinic, Stanford, Harvard, and MIT, Opentrons is found in thousands of academic, biopharma, synthetic biology and clinical research labs in more than 40 countries. Learn more at 

About Zymo Research:

Zymo Research is a privately owned company that has been serving the scientific community with state-of-the-art molecular biology tools since 1994. “The Beauty of Science is to Make Things Simple” is their motto, which is reflected in every product they produce, from their epigenetics to DNA/RNA purification technologies. Historically recognized as the leader in epigenetics, Zymo Research is breaking boundaries with novel solutions for sample collection, microbiomic measurements, and NGS technologies that are high quality and simple to use. To learn more visit

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